The Whistle Stop Coffee House has been open since Monday, but it’s been a work in progress for the past couple of years.
The dream came alive when Julia Ponder heard the train horn blowing by one day as she was sitting in a parking lot. The sound of the train brought back memories of home.
“The train came by and I knew that was it,” Ponder said.
Everything from the wood floors to the newly installed bar has been done by Ponder and her husband.
“My husband and I have been up here every day fixing this place up,” Ponder said.
When customers walk into the building they feel right at home with the smiling faces, southern, home-style decor and great coffees.
“I wanted to make the public happy and create an environment that was homey and just make sure everyone is welcome,” Ponder said.
Among of the more popular drinks served at the coffee shop are the frappes, but Ponder has created Coca-Cola based drinks that seem to be a favorite of the shop and customers that come in.
Ponder has had this dream a long time.
“This is just something I have always wanted to do as a little girl,” Ponder said.
After working as an accountant for various companies, Ponder decided she wanted to work for herself and fulfill the dream she has had as a child. She has no regrets; she encourages people to chase their dream.
“If someone ever has that opportunity, I encourage them to go for it and I believe that that person will be very happy,” Ponder said.
Ponder has been overwhelmed by the support of the community and the people that have stopped by her shop.
“When the people come in, I feel very welcomed here. I have lived here most of my life, but I get to meet new people and everyone is extremely nice,” Ponder said with a smile.
The coffee shop is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and located at 116 N Rusk Street next to Citizens Bank.